Thursday, November 29, 2012

Could Duke and North Carolina bolt to the SEC?

Will the shockwaves of Maryland's defection to the Big Ten eventually hit the SEC? That's what Matt Hayes of The Sporting News is suggesting, as he brings up the possibility of Duke and North Carolina, two of the ACC core teams,  joining the SEC.

The whole scenario revolves around Maryland managing to avoid a $50 million buyout to leave the ACC. If the Terrapins managed to do so, it could lead to Florida State and Clemson's long-speculated departure to the Big 12.  This in turn could lead to Duke and UNC looking for the greener pastures of the SEC.

“We’d be absolutely foolish to not watch Maryland,” one FSU official, speaking on the condition of anonymity, told Sporting News. “If or when they get out of (the $50 million buyout), everything changes. It’s almost like free agency.”

If that’s true, Maryland is the Curt Flood of college football. And it could lead to the one remaining mega move still out there: Florida State and Clemson to the Big 12.

If that happens, the two crown jewels of the ACC become available. Duke and North Carolina, which an ACC source said have been chased by the SEC for “the last three years,” will choose between the Big Ten and the SEC."
The additions of Duke and UNC to the SEC might not mean much on the football side, but it could radically alter things on the basketball side. Imagine a conference with Kentucky, Florida, Duke, and UNC facing each other on the hardwood every winter. Overnight, the SEC, where basketball is seen as an afterthought, would become a true powerhouse in college basketball. 

Adding Duke and North Carolina to the SEC would transform the conference from what is already a monster in football into a two-headed, two-sport juggernaut.